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Why Do LAUSD Schools Have Friday Off? It’s Admission Day!

Los Angeles public schools honor the date when California was admitted into the United States by taking off the last Friday of August.

Friday, Aug. 31, is a day off for all Los Angeles public schools (and some private schools). 

And, it has nothing to do with Labor Day.

It’s Admission Day, an official California state holiday that commemorates California being admitted into the United States as the 31st state on Sept. 9, 1850.

The Los Angeles Unified School District observes the anniversary on the last Friday of August—it's a paid holiday for the teachers. This year, with LAUSD schools resuming classes earlier than before, the holiday is figured into the school calendar. The school schedule was changed to align more closely with the two-semester schedule used by most colleges, and to avoid having the three-week winter recess break up the first semester.

“I've heard of it, but I didn’t know it was a holiday, and we would never have known it except for the early schedules for the schools,” said Walter Reed Middle School teacher. “But hey, I’m glad for the day off.”

Even the day of Admission Day is a bit murky. The date of California being admitted into the United States is officially Sept. 9, 1850, but local historians will point to the earlier treaty signed on Jan. 16, 1847, as a more significant moment in history because it ended fighting between the Californians and Mexicans. That Treaty of Cahuenga was signed at the n Studio City across from Universal Studios.

Admission Day is usually recognized on Sept. 9, but because that date falls on Sunday, this year it will be observed on Friday.

Yet, the trick is to find any agency that recognizes it. The Los Angeles Superior Court offices will remain open and the state Employee Development Department will stay open. Certainly banks will remain open. The state budget crisis ended many such holidays, unless it’s considered a furlough day, which means a day off with no pay.

It used to be that Admission Day was more widely celebrated throughout the state. San Francisco had celebrations that lasted three days.

And, every once in a while, a California governor would remind us that Admission Day was a holiday. The most recent proclamation came from Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2005. However, it didn’t mean a paid holiday for state workers.

Anyway, Happy Admission Day!

Check with your schools to see if it's a day off.

Brian Aherne August 29, 2012 at 11:31 PM
Who decides on the calendar, and who has official input to that person or body?
Jennifer N August 30, 2012 at 02:29 PM
The calendar is devised by the administration at Beaudry, and approved by your elected school board. The board is extremely receptive to parental input, check out a meeting, send them an email.
Brian Aherne August 30, 2012 at 02:55 PM
One suspects the board, as a political body, is receptive, but a rubber stamp for such matters The amorphous "administration" is probably the place where any meaningful input occurs.
Deborah Dietrich August 30, 2012 at 03:47 PM
I completely agree with you, Lisa. It's ridiculous, unhealthy, and ecologically unsound to have Los Angeles schools in session in August, especially this year's August with 90-degree-plus days every single day! With no relief of recess, learning takes a dive, as does attitude. June is way better, weather-wise, for being inside and playing outside. To me this four-day weekend feels like a gift that may help the sting of August school... a bit.
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